The Ekurhuleni Metro Council has once again announced its intention to change 42 street names and eight beacons in the metro’s to names of major political icons and important individuals from the region. At a council meeting this week, the council said it would be part of their Heritage Month celebrations.
Gilloolys, the continent’s largest interchange bringing together the N3, N12 and R24 freeways, will henceforth be known as the George Bizos Interchange, named after the anti-apartheid and human rights activist. Olifantsfontein Road, a main traffic road that stretches 10.5 km from the R21 to the N1, will be called Winnie Madikizela Mandela Road.
“The children in our city have to grow up in an environment that carries names that are familiar to them, that are in their home languages, and are some of the people they interact with every day. This is just the beginning of a process and many other phases will unfold in the program to redress the legacy of apartheid. It will also promote further social cohesion to create a democratic society, ”said Mayor Mzwandile Masina.
The city owns 35 of the 42 roads that will be renamed.
The Van Buuren Exit, which is in Bedfordview, will henceforth be known as the Thabo Mbeki Exit, while other well-known streets such as Snake Street in Benoni, Edenvale, Ego and Klip River Streets in the south will also be renamed. They will be called Mary Moodley Street, Lungile Mtshali, Margaret Gazo and Sam Ntuli Street respectively.
Residents of the metro have expressed great concern over the name changes on the Ekurhuleni Metro Council’s Facebook page. “You are useless. Instead of building new roads and maintaining infrastructure, spend money on unnecessary things as street names change. How will the renaming improve service delivery? ”An upset Hlompho Sesh-Figo wanted to know.
Vincent Tsholo Mofokeng, a resident, also expressed his unhappiness over the decision. “The metro council should rather focus on tarring the streets of all informal settlements. After 20 years, some streets in Daveyton are still dust roads, after houses have been built. Germiston looks like a landfill. Your priorities are completely wrong. ”
Further comments on the page indicated that it was a waste of taxpayers’ money and that the money should rather be focused on other projects, such as the construction of new schools or the maintenance of public hospitals in the region, which were in complete decline.
Jill Humphreys, Democratic Alliance ward councilor for Bedfordview, said that although the other political parties in the region opposed the resolutions at the council meeting, the ruling party, the ANC, received the majority of yes votes for the change to continue go.
“The budget for the name change has not yet been announced and all petitions and submissions have been ignored by the subway,” she said.
A large part of the subway, which includes Germiston, Bedfordview and Edenvale, was also left without water on Wednesday to dry up the region’s reservoirs. “Rand Water’s pumps have picked up due to power cuts,” Humphreys added.
The Germiston area will also be renamed the OR Tambo area, while the Springs Theater will be named after actor Ken Gampu. The new Germiston Theater will henceforth be known as the Dumisani Masilela Theater. Masilela, a Rythm City actor and singer was shot dead by a gang of five men in Tembisa two years ago. “He will always be a role model for the young people of Ekurhuleni,” the Metro Council said in a statement.
“We need to build a city where the beacons, highways, streets and interchanges represent everyone who lives here. The collective identity and moral image of the city must be summarized from the history of everyone living here, ”Masina said.
The metro would now engage in further discussions with the provincial and national government to implement the processes.